Number95

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  1. Number95

    Another MLP:FIM review thread

    Unfortunately, that doesn't make me more interested in checking out the episode. I haven't really seen much of the last 3 seasons of the show, and the episodes I do watch are either the 2-part episodes or episodes featuring Celestia and/or Luna. And I only watched those episodes to see if they were gonna suck or not. I mean, I'm already iffy about whether I'll look at "Sparkle's Seven" even though that's the show's 200th episode, but maybe if I end up being interested enough after some amount of time, I'll look at "Frenemies". The main reason I felt this should've happened earlier in the show is because the sisters in this episode act like they could barely tolerate each other (at first), and being reunited for a fair amount of time should have them way past that point unless their relationship was meant to be a rocky one (which I doubt). I'm not too concerned about the general fandom's reaction(s) because I'm more concerned about what the creative team see in their creative decisions. and it would be disappointing if the creative team didn't care about making their show reasonable.
  2. Number95

    Another MLP:FIM review thread

    Episode 17 is "The Summer Sun Setback," which I plan to review that episode at some point. As for episode 8 "Frenemies," I'm not sure if I'm interested. What do you think, @Metemponychosis? Should I bother with "Frenemies"? Making the Mane 6 look cool at the expense of the alicorn sisters was an easy route, but it was never cool. They want to say that Celestia isn't perfect and can't do anything, but they ended up with her doing nothing productive. Like I said earlier, I'm not against them getting into conflict with each other, but the show should have better things for them to disagree on. And the sisters act like they barely know each other and haven't spent much personal time together even though they've been reunited for some time now. See, I don't know how making Celestia a dumbass is supposed to help anyone or anything because all they did was make her a dumbass. And why would they want to "raise" Twilight to that level? The episode by itself might be fine, but within the context of the show, it sucks. And the context definitely matters when you consider what the characters did and said in the episodes and over the show. If this episode happened much earlier, the context would be different, and a number of things would be changed to fit the continuity at that earlier point. That idea made too much sense for the creative crew.
  3. Number95

    Another MLP:FIM review thread

    It will be a while before I get to the 3-part finale as I have other episodes to cover, especially the season 9 premiere.
  4. Number95

    Another MLP:FIM review thread

    Between Dark and Dawn We start the episode with a giant turtle eating the trees at Sweet Apple Acres, and it was apparently with permission from Fluttershy. I don’t know why Fluttershy allowed it to be at this location in the first place, but whatever. It seems that Twilight and Applejack’s questions at the beginning of the episode won’t get answered. The tortoise uses its long tongue to wrap around a tree that Spike happens to be near, and now he’s about to get eaten since he also got grabbed. Twilight formulates a plan to take care of the tortoise, and we see the Mane 6 working as a team, something that doesn’t happen often in 2-part episodes. The tortoise’s mouth is sealed shut, Spike is rescued, and Twilight is about to teleport the tortoise away until the alicorn sisters happen to show up to do the rest of the job. I’m not sure why the sisters initially made some shots, but they eventually restrain the tortoise just before teleporting it away, and Twilight complains about their unneeded/unwanted intervention. Wait a minute. Twilight was about to teleport the giant tortoise away herself, but Celestia and Luna together had to teleport the tortoise away. Maybe it was supposed to come off as a spell being made easier to cast when another caster is around, but it still doesn’t help Celestia and Luna as it took the two of them to do what Twilight was about to do by herself. Maybe the episode didn’t want one of them to dawdle while the other casts the teleportation spell, so that just means that the problem with these 2 alicorns shouldn’t have been a problem in the first place. The scene ends with the sisters being thrilled about seeing more action and the Mane 6 looking dumbfounded. What a dreadful and insincere first impression, and I doubt that impression was intentional from the creators. I’d like to comment on this scene, but I’d rather do it after the recap. After the opening credits, Fluttershy and Angel walk over a bridge in Ponyville, and a single stone block falls out. The sisters happen to be nearby again, and Luna sends away the old bridge while Celestia puts a new one in its place. I’d ask where the old bridge went and where the new one came from, but I ultimately don’t give a shit. The other citizens of Ponyville cheer at the sight of them, but Fluttershy is left looking uncertain. RD leads the CMC in the Everfree Forest only to get lost, and the sisters respond by blasting down a few trees to show them their desired campsite. I doubt that 2 alicorns were needed to blast away a few trees, but then I suddenly remembered how weak they were outside of their alleged primary jobs (unless you count being weak as one of their primary jobs). RD also looks uncertain at the end of this scene. On a sidenote, the CMC are apparently scouts known as Filly Guides (or Scouts according to the MLP wiki), and I honestly didn’t know anything about this even though the MLP wiki said that these kinds of scouts have appeared before season 7. Of course, I also don’t give a fuck about this. In Sugarcube Corner, Mrs. Cake panics about forgetting to bake cupcakes for Cheerilee. Pinkie is about to take action until the sisters blow down a wall and decide to bake. I’m surprised the show let them do this as it is usually much more interested in saying what the sisters don’t know or can’t do. By the way, Celestia’s line about “students going hungry” sounded off. This scene ends with Pinkie looking irritated. It seems that Celestia and Luna are going around Ponyville and trying to help with whatever problem they find. I was going to say Equestria at first, but they don’t have superspeed and can’t be in multiple places at once. And no, I’m not alluding to the show making them helpless wimps, but I still have no shortage of comments about that. I was wondering how they decide what problems are worth solving, but the episode decided that they should approach only – well – small problems because that’s funny (not really). I also imagine the sisters being pretty busy around Ponyville because that town still has plenty of ponies, and small problems can range from paper cuts to losing a pencil and a bunch of other shit I’m too lazy to think of. The Mane 6 meet at their Crystal Castle and are concerned about the alicorn sisters not having faith in their abilities to help others. Suddenly, the sisters barge into the meeting room, hoping to learn about more problems they can fix. Twilight thought the sisters would be busy trying to be rulers of Equestria (or at least Celestia would be as “A Royal Problem” pretty much stated that Luna has no political duties, but I’ll be generous and assume that Luna does have political duties to make the ramble simpler), but the sisters respond that their experience during the premiere of the season inspired them to be more hands-on with their help. Pinkie suggests the sisters to go on a vacation, and Twilight decides that she and her friends will perform royal duties to start learning how to be rulers. At the last minute, Celestia mentions an event that needs setting up. Celestia and Luna are then at their castle in Canterlot and are eager to go on their vacation. I think royals in real life are able to make time for vacations, so I don’t know what stopped these alicorns in the first place, but whatever. Celestia wants to go on adventures, but Luna wants to relax. Luna’s reason for preferring relaxation is a bit random when considering what she was doing earlier in the episode as well as saying just over a minute ago that “real life is happening out there,” but whatever again. However, there’s something else I’d like to ask. Luna can (allegedly) handle intense and dangerous scenarios, and Celestia wants excitement, so what stopped either of them from confronting the major villains of the show? Anyways, since the two have different goals for their vacation together, they decide to compromise by taking turns with their preferred activities. Luna brings out shirts for them to wear for their vacation, and Celestia is unhappy for some unknown reason. I’m guessing it’s because they look like tourist outfits (according to Luna), and Celestia wants to go on an adventure (and she later brings supplies for just that), but no one says she can’t wear a tourist shirt to an adventure. The two are about to leave Canterlot, but not before leaving Twilight and friends with a few things. One is an amulet containing a “small part of [their] power.” Ok, there’s some shit that I must talk about. The Mane 6 gasped and recoiled at the prospect of having to raise the sun and moon (or at least Twilight, Spike, and Rarity did as they were the only ones present on-screen during that scene). That scene reiterates that such a duty is a huge and major task, and previous episodes confirmed this. The first time was in season 2 with “Hearth’s Warming Eve” where it was stated that a team of unicorns had to move the sun and moon, which is a pretty good contrast to just a single pony like Celestia and/or Luna. And there’s season 8 with “Horse Play” which stated that unicorns that tried to move the sun and moon lost their magic, but not Celestia and Luna, of course. This ties into my next point, which is Celestia stating that she and her sister put a SMALL PART OF THEIR POWER into the amulet. As in, not much. As in, it doesn’t take too much effort for them to move the sun and moon, but it’s apparently a more difficult task for other ponies. This implies that they’re actually pretty powerful in terms of raw magic. As in, they’re not that weak. So, why were they so weak and helpless in previous episodes? “The show never suggested that they were powerful or even capable fighters. They’re not fit to handle supervillains.” Then what does excluding the sisters accomplish in two-part episodes? Anyways, the Mane 6 are left to set up the Royal Swanifying from the alicorn sisters. RD asks what the point of the event is, but Twilight says that it doesn’t matter as long as they can set it up. That’s an odd response from Twilight as she would want to know the point of the event so their actions and presentation can line up with the intentions. The alicorn sisters are walking around, and pony citizens throughout the episode are in awe at their presence. One scene during the musical montage right after this scene shows ponies even putting out fireworks of them. Too bad I still don’t know what they did to earn such awe. The musical montage shows the sisters enjoying themselves and each other at first before losing enjoyment later in their trip. I’ll admit that I liked seeing the sisters getting along and being sisters as they get to show that they really do love each other and enjoy the other’s presence. I would have liked this kind of scene more if it came MUCH earlier in the show (not necessarily during a vacation, but doing something together while enjoying each other’s presence) and if the show treated them (especially Celestia) with genuine respect. It’s just another reminder that the show never realized its potential. I’m also not against them having conflicts, but more on that later. During the musical montage, they pass a number of characters that have appeared in the show, and Capper is surprisingly among them. Not a bad way to cement that the movie is canon to the show. There’s also a scene where a pony is making a wooden sculpture of Celestia and Luna, but Celestia’s sculpture looks off-model. It’s more than likely a way for the show to remind the viewer what it thinks of her. However, at some point into their vacation, their different desires start to creep onto their time together. Luna is getting tired of Celestia’s excitement, and Celestia is getting bored of Luna’s relaxation. There’s an admittedly funny scene where Luna tears up while watching a play and uses a bored Celestia’s mane to wipe her eyes. Back to Canterlot Castle, and Fancy Pants is surprised to see that the Mane 6 are doing the “royal duties” today. That’s a tad irresponsible for the alicorn sisters to not announce their vacation and who will be in charge during that period. Then again, the show never got the sisters right anyways. Fancy Pants plus his companions (whoever they are) offer their assistance to set up the Royal Swanifying, but Twilight rejects his help because she wants to prove that she and her friends can handle what is asked of them. Fancy Pants and his companions respond in a surprisingly irritated manner, so I guess he doesn’t like being rejected. After they leave, Twilight’s friends also show irritation at her rejection. By the way, I just noticed that Starlight isn’t here. I haven’t seen the season 9 premiere, but I’m guessing that Starlight will be left in charge of the School of Friendship while the Mane 6 (or maybe just Twilight) run Equestria. Twilight reasons that asking for help would imply that they aren’t adequate replacements for ruling Equestria after Celestia and Luna retire. First off, Celestia and Luna would ask for help (as this episode later confirms) when setting up a large event since doing it all themselves would be impractical. I don’t know if they could immediately set everything up if they had a ton of magic, but that’s not important. Celestia and Luna always ask for help, at least when it comes to saving Equestria, so I don’t know why Twilight thought that the alicorn sisters asking for help is such an outlandish idea. Too bad I also don’t know how good the sisters are at handling other duties like setting up events, so I can’t even say that they’re good at doing their regular jobs outside of moving the sun and moon and Luna helping other ponies handle their nightmares. I would’ve liked to see Luna interacting with other kinds of ponies with their nightmares to learn how they see Luna and what they think of her, but I’m going on a tangent. I’d rather finish up recapping the Mane 6’s activities as I’m not nearly as invested in their side of the episode. There’s another short scene later with Fancy Pants pointing out that the setup for the Royal Swanifying is not going too well, and Twilight refuses his help again. Then there’s a final scene with the setup that has the Mane 6 failing to keep up with the schedule, and Twilight wonders how Celestia and Luna handle their jobs. Fancy Pants finally reminds her that Celestia and Luna never do anything by themselves, and the Mane 6 finally assign tasks to other ponies. If the episode actually wanted to show the Mane 6 actually handling themselves as the leaders/rulers of Equestria, it should’ve given them something that a ruler would actually do and not something that doesn’t require political knowledge and/or experience like setting up a random event. Then again, if the episode did show the Mane 6 handling some political task, it would be yet another strike against the show for making the alicorn sisters seem incompetent because we’ve never seen how Celestia handled such tasks, and Luna made a fool of herself in “A Royal Problem” even though she’s supposed to be co-ruler of Equestria. The Mane 6 would no doubt struggle with their first attempt at a royal duty, but this kind of story would also have them pick themselves up to victory. That would at least show the Mane 6 being persistent and capable, which unfortunately can’t be said for Celestia and Luna. Overall, the Mane 6’s antics in this episode ranged from stupid to dull, and the episode should’ve focused on Celestia and Luna completely as they haven’t been given much throughout the show. Then again, it’s too little too late for the sisters, so it probably doesn’t matter what the episode tries. However, whatever stupidity that happens in the episode doesn’t get excused. Back to the alicorn sisters and their vacation, and they both go on a zipline. Celestia is still enjoying herself, but Luna is still feeling tired. Next, they go to a post office so Luna could mail a postcard to Celestia. Luna is excited about being able to do this at all because she thinks her nighttime work prevents her from using the postal service. Actually, that’s not true. She can still get a postcard (unless all places that sell postcards are closed during the night, but she doesn’t need to only mail a postcard), get a stamp (they can still be sold in bulk, so she should be able to get them from her sister), and then drop it in a mailbox so a mailpony can send it out. A better take would be for Luna to get excited about seeing some mailed immediately delivered to her sister, which Luna wouldn’t normally be able to see since she sleeps during the daytime (nevermind that she has been up during the daytime in prior episodes). Or maybe her last line was trying to confirm just that, but it’s actually kind of ambiguous when reading her sentence. Next, Celestia decides that they should explore a cave, which seems to actually be a monster’s mouth. Interestingly, we don’t get to see the monster, but that’s not the point. The point is that she is capable of going up to monsters, so what’s the difference between this and a villain? Next, the two go to a spa to get a makeover. I actually find Celestia’s irritation and boredom quite amusing in this scene. I can see her as a pony who cares about her looks because of her colorful mane and tail as well as being a royal who normally wears golden accessories. So, there are two different kinds of amusement I get from this. The first is simply being bored at getting a makeover as a form of irony since she presumably spends plenty of time on her own looks. The second is that since she wants to do something adventurous and exciting, she will probably get dirty in the process, so the makeover might get ruined and become pointless. Of course, these two kinds of amusements do nothing for me in the long term. A reprise of their song comes next, and they skydive as their next activity. Luna being upset about this activity because it ruined her makeover was also amusing. Their makeover must have been undone very quickly as the next scene with them at an art museum even shows them with their regular vacation looks. Celestia falls asleep on a pony at the museum, and that pony happily takes a picture of herself with the sleeping Celestia, which is also amusing. However, my true feelings about these scenes should be obvious. Eventually, the two can’t agree on their next activity on their list and end up tearing it after a disagreement. And they even get into a hot sibling argument about their off-screen activities in the vacation during their picnic. Luna isn’t happy about hiking through prickly bushes, and Celestia hated the opera with Luna pointing out that they even left early at Luna’s location of choice. I find it somewhat interesting that Celestia doesn’t care for “high art” despite living in a “cultured” community and presumably also having a similarly “cultured” upbringing. It’s possible that she simply wasn’t in the mood for them as she wanted more thrilling activities, but the show would never have been interested in actually exploring any side of Celestia anyways. Another interesting moment has Luna claiming that Celestia would have preferred Luna to be trapped in the moon. I know it’s just part of an average sibling/family argument where one says something nasty and personal about the other out of anger and thus not really meaning what they said, but I really wanted that historic falling out and its various and numerous effects on the sisters to have gotten some attention in the show. And there is yet another interesting line, this time with Celestia saying that she has to be responsible for Luna. This makes an interesting statement about their perception of each other with Luna seeing Celestia as a stiff and bossy older sister and Celestia possibly still seeing Luna as a “baby sister” even though Luna is almost as old as Celestia. A few years (assuming that’s the age gap between them) is essentially nothing if they’re both over 1000 years old. Too bad I was only able to use the word “interesting” as a generic description and not as a compliment because too many things about the sisters are too vague, and I end up not knowing what I’m supposed to think of them. I guess 9 years and 9 seasons wasn’t enough time for the show to examine such ambitious ideas. Or maybe doing so would’ve been too obvious and easy, so the show took a risk and left them in the dust. Anyways, the two argue with their Royal Canterlot voices, and they soon go their separate ways. There’s less than 6 minutes left until the end of the episode, so this fallout feels more artificial than it should as they’re inevitably gonna get back together by the end of the episode. And it doesn’t take long for them to miss each other, which adds to the artificiality that I mentioned. Luna sunbathes at a beach, but she suddenly misses her sister after seeing other sisters playing at the beach. Celestia skydives alone, and she also misses her sister after seeing a fellow skydiving pony pull up a parachute that features both alicorns. A better way for the episode to handle their separation is to show the sisters just going about their vacation by themselves over a longer period of time and not thinking about the other to see what they’re like by themselves and maybe even how their interactions with other ponies differ. Doing that wouldn’t fix the episode, however. Luna ends up sunburned and is at a hospital for treatment. She was apparently unaware of the existence of sunblock. I’d still like to point out that Luna has been out during the daytime multiple times, so it’s more than likely that she has been out during a hot sunny day. Or maybe she hasn’t, at least not for a long time. I don’t know. I don’t even think the show knows Luna’s daily schedule as it likes to say that she’s a night pony, but the show has also stated otherwise. Celestia is lost in a forest and acknowledges Luna’s better sense of direction (if you say so). And Celestia is also afraid of chickens. The episode probably wanted this to pass this phobia off as comedy, but it doesn’t work due to the show also poorly handling Celestia. Maybe I would’ve been more accepting of this if the show had turned out better, but it’s ultimately a pointless hypothetical to discuss. The two soon and accidentally meet while hiking up a mountain (so they were separated during the episode for about 3 minutes), with Celestia wanting to see the moonset and Luna wanting to see the sunrise, which is not a bad way of showing that the two do love and think about each other maybe even unconsciously. They quickly apologize and admit that they’d rather be with each other than away from each other, and that it’s not easy being the little sister or the big sister, whatever all that means. No, really. I don’t know what they mean as their relationship never any insightful exploration at any point. More on this later. The two watch the sunrise, but the sun and moon both move haphazardly. The sisters figure that they need to help Twilight (something that doesn’t happen often), and they fly to Canterlot. They forgot to pick up their bags. Were Celestia and Luna gonna stay until nighttime to watch the moonrise? I suppose their vacation was cut short due to some unexpected trouble. Back in Canterlot, Twilight breaks the amulet while trying to fix it, and the episode ends with Celestia and Luna flying toward Canterlot. So, who’s at fault for the sun and moon haphazardly? I could say Twilight as she was the one controlling their movements with the amulet, but Celestia and Luna were the ones who gave her a defective amulet and didn’t bother to make sure it worked properly. It could’ve said that Twilight messed up the amulet while trying to move the sun and moon, and she wouldn’t look bad for it since she’s inexperienced. So, this may be yet another example of the show accidentally (or not) making Celestia and Luna look stupid. This episode is… not good. Okay, I hated it. There were minor bits that I liked, which I have already pointed out and won’t bother going over again because the episode (and the show by extension) got more things wrong than right at least in regards to the alicorn sisters. I feel like there’s no point in talking about what should have been because they are things that never happened, and I should be looking at what the show ultimately produced, but I can’t because of this episode’s premise. So, I’ll definitely be talking about what should have been because the episode is so broken on a fundamental level. First, I want to get the Mane 6 bullshit out of the way because I’m not nearly as interested in them as I am in the alicorn sisters for this episode. The Mane 6 try to set up an event, but they think that they have to do it all by themselves for some unknown reason. I know that the episode provided the reason, but it doesn’t make sense. The Mane 6 are concerned about Celestia and Luna not appearing to have any faith in them, but note that the episode also had the Mane 6 just recall the sisters’ uselessness throughout the show. So, they’re aware of how useless the previous rulers are, and they’re concerned about having to live up to such precedents? And I already mentioned that Celestia and Luna were always asking for help, so why did Twilight think that she and her friends couldn’t? Did the episode even know what it was doing at this point? And I want to emphasize that all this part of the episode did was show a minor event being put together. In short, NOTHING FUCKING HAPPENS WITH THE MANE 6. I would say that the episode should have shown the Mane 6 getting involved in politics simple enough for the intended viewers to understand so there can also be some insight into how Equestria is handled, but that wouldn’t be very satisfactory because we never saw any of that crap with Celestia, so it’s yet another way the show couldn’t help Celestia and instead could only make her look incompetent. Unsurprisingly, there was no winning with the episode, but that doesn’t stop me from being irritated with the final product because these pitfalls were so easy to avoid especially when you consider how many fucking episodes this show has. Now, let’s go over what the episode was mainly about. There was some friction between Celestia and Luna due to their differences, but they learn to value and appreciate the other in spite of those differences. Just read that last sentence, and then remember the background about the two way back in the first episodes of the show. WHY THE HELL IS AN EPISODE LIKE THIS HAPPENING AT THE VERY LAST SEASON OF THE SHOW? Let me remind you that this is also the show’s NINTH season. The show should have better things to do with them at this point, but it doesn’t because it was never productive with Celestia and Luna. A premise like this should’ve happened MUCH sooner in the show’s run. A vacation episode definitely could’ve been a season 1 episode, but season 2 would have been the latest acceptable time for an episode like this to happen. Hell, some personal time together after a long period of separation is already an interesting idea for an early season episode. And as I said before, the show should have better stories to tell about them after more than 200 fucking episodes because there’s so much more to the two than the fact that they are still sisters in spite of their differences. They’ve been back together for more than a fair while now. I’d like to say a few years due to the multiple holiday-themed episodes in the show, but I’ll be generous and assume it’s only about 2 years as I only know of three Summer Sun Celebrations in the show (one at the very beginning of season 1, one at the beginning of season 4, and a third later into this season). The season 1 premiere pretty much stated that they missed each other and want to make amends, and I guess “A Royal Problem” sort of does that. OK, not really, but that’s part of a bigger problem. The point is that they care about each other, so what have they been doing during all this time besides (trying to) rule Equestria? “A Royal Problem” implies that almost nothing happens between them, which doesn’t make any sense, but there’s nothing else that says otherwise. A persistent problem with Celestia and Luna’s characters is that there are too many questions and not nearly enough answers. I guess the crew never gave much real thought to them if they wanted this shit to be their swan song. If they always lacked any interest in exploring them, they really shouldn’t have bothered in the first place as well, and they also shouldn’t have tried to pretend that they were important to the show or Equestria. I also want to note that I’m not against the sisters having a conflict with each other, but what’s wrong with seeing them get along for an episode? A conflict may help create a story to tell over a period of time, but I have a problem when the conflict is as basic as 2 sisters not getting along because of having differing interests. As I keep saying, this would be fine as an early episode where we’re starting to learn about them, but after over 200 episodes, we should be seeing other sides of them. If they were to have another vacation episode this late into the show, they should be already be accepting of the other’s difference instead of reacting with childish disdain. The alicorn sisters only have 2 episodes dedicated to their relationship in the show: this one and “A Royal Problem” from season 7, and both episodes for some unknown reason portrayed them as barely knowing each other even though they’ve been alive together at least 1000 years ago and have been reunited for some amount of time. The fact that both episodes came pretty late into the show doesn’t help their quality. If the show still wants them to get into conflict with each other, what about an episode where they disagree about an approach toward a political task? We would get to see them at work as well as how they would handle a certain problem. An episode like that would be outside of the show’s usual premise, so it can give insight into characters that it probably couldn’t for other characters which can add to this fictional world’s surface appeal as a blend of different kinds of characters. I’ve gone on too long about what should’ve been (and I won’t stop anytime soon), and I should actually start talking about the episode itself because that’s the point of this ramble. I’ve already said that the result still isn’t good especially when considering the context within the show. Let’s start at the beginning with Celestia and Luna showing up and the Mane 6’s reactions, most notably RD’s line, “All the times we've actually needed their help, and they show up for this?” FUCK YOU, ASSHOLES. What does making a joke about their uselessness solve? It definitely wasn’t their intention from the start of the show to make them useless, so this transparent attempt at being a smart-ass becomes even more insulting than it already is, and it just comes off as them not caring about the results. And to say that I felt insulted would be an understatement. I’m also aware that Rainbow Dash also pointed out the alicorn sisters’ uselessness in the season 9 premiere, but I’ll get to that when I eventually get to the actual premiere itself. I can’t gloss over the reactions of dread from the Mane 6, and that makes the issue of the sisters’ uselessness worse than it already is. Their help shouldn’t even be unwanted, but their help is unwanted because they’re helping with trivial problems. Celestia and Luna say that they want to help because didn’t get previous chances to do so, and now they enjoy helping with whatever they find. First, why didn’t they just take the initiative and provide some help themselves during previous major times of crisis? I doubt whatever explanation “The Beginning of the End” may have provided will suffice. Oh, but they couldn’t help earlier because they lacked the capabilities to do so. Like I asked much earlier, what was the point of excluding them if they couldn’t do anything about previous major crises? And why was not letting them make some kind of genuine contribution toward the resolution ever an option? If the sisters always lacked the capabilities of handling 2-part episodes, why not just say so? If the show wants them to be a more like a traditional queen and have them delegate tasks to those who are more capable or are specifically equipped to handle such tasks (kind of like what the Mane 6 did in this episode), why not do that? They should be around Cadance’s size so their size wouldn’t give the wrong idea unless they want to make a point, but I honestly doubt their ability to make that point. Even then, leaving them as alicorns with nothing else about them will still lead to problems especially in a long-running television show, so I don’t know the exact approach it should have taken. Another thing that bothers me is that Celestia and Luna were so wrapped up with trivial problems when they have an entire kingdom/country to manage. Their political duties would and should be more beneficial to Equestria in the long-term than baking cakes. They’re always helping out their country somehow or else it would have collapsed a long time ago. Then again, considering how bad Celestia’s decisions in “Twilight’s Kingdom” were, I’m surprised that hasn’t already happened, but that’s beside the point. Some online comments have said that political duties would be too much or too boring for little girls (even though little girls are likely not the true target audience) to handle. In that case, why not show simpler tasks that a younger viewer can understand like mediating conflicts between two major parties or showing how they keep Equestria safe? Okay, the latter might be too difficult for the show, so how about the decisions they make to make Equestria a comfortable place to live in? I’m no expert in politics, and I’m personally indifferent toward the subject, but I can still see that no episodes ever showed what Celestia and Luna did for Equestria as a whole. Luna may have helped the CMC with their nightmares, but that’s too small. That doesn’t tell me how this helps the entirety of Equestria. I’m gonna go on a tangent for a little bit. I don’t recall Celestia ever helping a pony with their personal problems. I’d like to think that she would do her share of personally helping other ponies considering her general disposition, but the show can’t even confirm any such cases. So, here’s something the show could’ve easily played with a long time ago: how Celestia and Luna are similar and different when interacting with and helping other ponies. Yet another reminder of all the wasted potential. Anyways, the joke with their help over trivial problems wore thin before it was even conceived. And finally, their vacation. I won’t repeat my thoughts about their activities due to lack of interest. Princess Celestia prefers partaking in physical activities and doing dangerous stunts. Like I asked before, since she’s physically capable, why did she not try to confront villains in previous episodes? Performing physical stunts may not be the same as confronting a villain, but the episode still suggests that she could confront danger if she wanted to. Oddly, Luna preferred more relaxing activities for her vacation even though she was raring to go at the beginning of the episode, but I’ll just assume that she has other ideas for killing time when she’s on vacation. However, the fact that she has to, and in her words, handle intense dreams means that she could also confront danger if she wanted to. If dealing with villains was always too much for them, I’ll still repeat their exclusion would still make no sense. This is already a bad start for the show in deciding their capabilities (why is it still deciding and uncertain at this point?!), and the problem is compounded by the fact that this is the last season of the show. The creative team knows that this is their last season, and they’re showing it through episode titles and with Celestia and Luna retiring as rulers and handing over their reigns to the Mane 6. You’d think that they did plenty over the course of nine seasons, right? After being reunited for so long, Celestia and Luna might wanna reflect on their time (professional and personal) and accomplishments together for Equestria and how much more they did as a team than as individuals. Since they also had a falling out and would presumably want to mend their relationship, they could even reflect on what they’ve done for each other. There could be a compare and contrast between their past relationship and their new relationship, and we could see how much their lives improved when they had each other with past episodes that focused on them. Those premises like that may sound cheesy and overly sentimental, but they still makes sense as they know that they’re about to retire. Well, a talented and competent creative team could still make the episode work in spite of or because of those sentiments, but the team for this show isn’t talented or competent. It’s too bad that the best accomplishment Celestia ever had in the show was saving a play in season 8. It’s fine on paper as a single accomplishment, but that’s the only time she was ever given an episode. That’s right. All Celestia ever did in the show was save a stupid ass play. How is this an accomplishment worthy of a princess whose reign lasted for over 1000 years? So, there can’t even be an episode that looks at their accomplishments when there are none to brag about or their relationship when the show doesn’t even know what it supposed to be. The show will try to say that the Mane 6 have much to live up to, but you wouldn’t know that by watching every episode. It looks like I still have a few more episodes to watch and cover. There’s “The Summer Sun Setback,” which has the Mane 6 doing something for the alicorn sisters, and I doubt the final product will be praiseworthy. I may or may not talk about “Sparkle’s Seven.” And there are the final episodes of the show, which will be 3 episodes long – a usual two-parter followed by a single epilogue episode. I was hoping to have fewer episodes to cover, but whatever. If I end up talking about the three-part finale without talking about “Sparkle’s Seven,” that means I won’t be covering “Sparkle’s Seven.”
  5. These kinds of things are team efforts. Even though the writer is an important part of production, they aren't responsible for everything.
  6. Number95

    Season 9, Episode 13: Between Dark and Dawn

    @WaterPulse@Metemponychosis It sounds like the episode wasn't so good, and I can't say that I'm surprised because I don't know how one fixes 9 years of fuck ups. I think Celestia in concept is fine. It's the creative team that needs to stay away from the alicorn sisters. Since season 6? I don't think they were ever handled well outside of rather minor moments in the case of Celestia and outside of CMC dream episodes for Luna. I guess Celestia may have been fine in season 1, but the show's later fuck ups just make her season 1 self look worse or at the very least not help her season 1 self.
  7. Number95

    Another MLP:FIM review thread

    I'm wondering if I should review the season 9 premiere first or wait until all of it has aired to see how the season began and ended. The show is pretty episodic, so I might instead ramble about "Sparkle's Seven" (assuming I'm interested enough) or "Between Dark and Dawn" (more likely as it features the alicorn sisters, but I'm not expecting much) before the season premiere.
  8. Number95

    Another MLP:FIM review thread

    School Raze The episode first shows Derpy delivering mail to the school. I remember Derpy being portrayed as a mailpony among the fandom, but I don’t remember why nor do I even care why. Thus, I don’t really care to see her right now. I feel like mentioning that I never cared for Derpy, not even when she first spoke in “The Last Roundup” from season 2. Wow, what a long time ago. As befitting of her name, she crashes into the school and drops her mail, with Cozy Glow picking up after her as well as trying to help around the school. Outside of “School Daze” and “Horse Play,” I haven’t seen the other season 8 episodes, so I don’t know what the show has done with her before this episode. So, my comments about Cozy Glow will only apply to whatever she does in this episode. Apparently, she is already Twilight’s friendship assistant. Outside of providing some help, I have no idea what that purpose position is supposed to serve. One certainly doesn’t need to be a “friendship assistant” just to be helpful. I could think of another pony who should sign up for a position like that, but given the show’s nature, she would fuck up her application. I know that Cozy Glow is trying to conceal her villainous nature because she would otherwise have just attacked right then and there (or sooner even), but that position still seems random to me because it doesn’t seem to have any real purpose. Twilight is in her office doing her thing, and she realizes that she’s late for a field trip to Cloudsdale with some students. Thankfully, Cozy Glow patched that problem ahead of time as well as helping with various other small tasks, which are all met with praise and gratitude from Twilight. Twilight even wondered aloud what she would do without Cozy Glow. Too bad some certain alicorn was never this helpful to Twilight. I know Cozy Glow is trying to look good to avoid suspicion, but it’s fucking bullshit that even a character with a hidden villainous nature is still more genuinely productive despite having ulterior motives than the major figure Twilight has a personal connection to and also looks up to. This may be a petty complaint, but that’s how I feel because I hate wasted potential. I’ll talk more about that wasted potential later. Next, it’s Rainbow Dash conducting the field trip at Cloudsdale. Starlight has casted a spell to allow non-pegasus characters to walk on the clouds, but one of the students suddenly falls through a cloud. She tries to use her magic to lift the student, but her horn fizzles instead, and then all other wingless characters including herself start falling as well. The winged characters save the wingless characters, and RD and Starlight report this disaster to Twilight. Twilight thinks that Starlight might have done something wrong, and what follows is an amusing moment with Starlight showing explicit irritation. Her facial expression really sells it. Twilight tries to get a book off a shelf only for the book to unexpectedly drop because her own magic also fizzled, and Starlight immediately shoots back with the same comment. It’s an admittedly good way of showing that Starlight is not only aware of her magical competence but also proud of it. Now if only another magical pony could’ve shown any kind of actual competence and power in the show. Yes, I’m that petty, and I won’t stop making these petty complaints. Rarity show ups and also reveals that her spells aren’t working, and now the main characters are fully aware of this mysterious problem. Cozy Glow mentions another villain creature that consumes magic (do all centaurs consume magic?), and I didn’t know that Tirek was mentioned in one of the season 8 episodes, not that I cared to know. Spike barges through the door, but he chokes on a letter from Princess Celestia because of the failing magic. Hey, he has wings, and it was definitely after “Horse Play” as he was wingless in that episode. Needless to say, I also don’t care about this development. By the way, how does Princess Celestia send letters through Spike? When Twilight does it, Spike just scorches the letter with his presumably magical flames. What does Princess Celestia use? I guess her own magic. Oh goody, one instance where Princess Celestia can do something slightly useful with her magic. The main characters plus Cadance get the letter and head to Canterlot to discuss the situation. A mailpony suddenly appears during the discussion, and I’m surprised that it’s not Derpy as she appeared at the beginning of the episode. It’s a letter from Star Swirl. He reports and confirms that magic is fading from all over Equestria. Outside of occasionally sending letters through Spike and I guess moving the sun, I can’t imagine Princess Celestia actually getting affected that much. By the way, Luna mentioned potions also failing at the beginning of the discussion. So, I guess potions need magic to function as well? I don’t remember if that was the case at all in the show as ponies would just mix random ingredients to make potions. Then again, potions tend to be magical in fiction, so whatever. Star Swirl, being an actual expert with magic and spells, reports that Equestria’s magic will fade away forever if the problem is left unchecked. Cadance asks why this is happening, but Luna replies that she and her sister don’t have an answer. You know, their usual response to any problem or mystery. The sisters should magically record that statement and play it on repeat every time they appear, complete with dummies of themselves if they so wish. Then again, magic isn’t working right now, so a verbal statement was always going to be necessary. Twilight suggests checking on Tirek, and a weird scene happens where Twilight verbally acknowledges that relying on friends is a good thing. Um, didn’t she know that since the FIRST SEASON of the show? Did she somehow decide in a season 8 episode that asking a friend for help was a dumb idea so she could immediately be proven wrong for the sake of this episode? Celestia says that she and her sister will try to protect Equestria while the Mane 6 are away at Tartarus. By “try to protect Equestria,” she really means that she and Luna will sit on their asses and wait for a miracle. I suppose the show is acknowledging that the Mane 6 are better protectors of Equestria so the sisters wouldn’t have to get sloppily tossed aside for the sake of the story, but that acknowledgement doesn’t solve anything because the sisters still won’t do anything in this episode and are thus still sloppily tossed aside yet again. Luna also mentions that Tartarus has changed since the end of season 4. So, were there random creatures and/or characters tossed into that area? I don’t remember that happening in seasons 5 or 6, so did seasons 7 and 8 do something with that area? Maybe the show wants to imply that the alicorn sisters haven’t been as inactive as previously shown, but that also solves nothing because they have still contributed nothing to 2-part episodes including this one. And it’s also hard for me to believe that either of them could actually seal someone away at Tartarus because they are pretty weak outside of using magic for their own special tasks. Luna also warns the Mane 6 to be cautious as they (or the ponies with horns) won’t have magic to defend themselves, but AJ reassures her that friendship will let them withstand the dangers in this expedition. Good thing the Mane 6 has something to help them through obstacles without magic. What do Princess Celestia and Luna have? If they both went into Tartarus, they would immediately get into some deep shit just so the episode can demonstrate how dangerous the area is while needing the Mane 6 to save them so the Mane 6 can also look competent. Twilight leaves Starlight in charge of the school while the others are away. She even tells Starlight to contact Princess Celestia in case of trouble, but I don’t know how Starlight could contact Celestia without Spike. And even if that weren’t an issue, what could Celestia possibly help with if she appeared? Oh right, help Starlight look competent by being a helpless fucking idiot. Cozy appears and has already packed food for the Mane 6’s expedition, and that also included Starlight because she was under the assumption that Starlight would also be gone. Cozy Glow’s surprise is admittedly not a bad way of trying to unravel her later villainy. She also referenced another season 8 episode which seems to have involved Discord, but again, I don’t care. I don’t know why she made a sad face right after learning that Starlight was staying. Obviously, she wasn’t happy about her plans getting ruined, but what was she hoping and/or trying to express to the other characters? Anyways, she settles for being Starlight’s assistant. The episode cuts to the next morning with Cozy Glow addressing the students and announcing that she was in charge. It’s a rather odd cut as it was previously still daytime, and Starlight’s disappearance was also oddly sudden as the episode didn’t show what she did while in charge. One of the characters from the Student 6 (Young 6 seems to be the “unofficial” term at least among fans and/or the MLP wiki, but I prefer the alliteration) points out Starlight’s sudden disappearance, Cozy responds that Starlight left a note saying that she decided to also head to Tartarus. But another student thought that Starlight would have said all this in person instead of writing a note. It seems that Twilight and friends personally announced their leave and Starlight being in charge to the students off-screen because if that didn’t happen, there would be no reason for the student to not mention Starlight’s disappearance being so odd. Cozy even assigns the student extra homework as “punishment,” and the rest of the 6 also demand extra homework as a strange way of showing unity because I don’t know who would intentionally want more homework. Couldn’t they just help that one student with his or her homework to the same effect? The episode then shows the Mane 6 still traveling to Tartarus. I remember the path being quite long as Twilight took a day to get there back in season 2, but it also helped that she ran to save some time, so these ponies need to move faster if they want to save Equestria in time. That will happen of course, but they don’t know that. I wouldn’t be surprised if the episode threw random and/or dumb roadblocks if Princess Celestia and Princess Luna (or just the former, really) took this trip instead. Pinkie also checked her cupcakes, which are shown to have already spoiled because magic couldn’t keep them cool, and that is kind of weird as actual cupcakes don’t spoil that fast even if left out of the fridge, but whatever. Back to the school, and a number of students are happy with Cozy Glow’s directions. Two of the Student 6 are suspicious of Cozy Glow because she seems too nice. They aren’t aware of her villainy yet, so why do they distrust her for being too nice? Their usual school figures are nice, so what are the students so uncomfortable about? I don’t know if another previous episode gave something of an answer, and as usual, I don’t care. Cozy Glow emerges from the school’s catacombs in the library, which is where the Student 6 happen to be studying. The students then follow her. At least this setup makes some sense as the library is a decent place to study at. I’m also guessing the catacombs were featured in a previous episode because they weren’t in “School Daze,” and my feelings about this should also be obvious. The Mane 6 finally arrive at Tartarus, and the entrance hasn’t been tampered with, so Tirek hasn’t escaped. However, they still want to actually visit him, and the door requires magic to be opened, which is out of service right now. Good thing Spike found some magical key that I never heard of, which really highlights its convenience. Was this mentioned in another episode? The key opens the door to Tartarus and shatters right afterward. If Cozy Glow knew that would happen, it’s not a bad way to keep the Mane 6 at bay. The Mane 6 enters, and the door closes immediately after them. How do doors like this in fiction know how long to stay open and when to close? They notice that all of the magical creatures imprisoned in Tartarus are unable to use their natural abilities as the result of the loss of magic, which also means that they run on magic. I thought those creatures’ own abilities were more like superpowers instead of magical abilities, but then Tirek drained magic from earth and pegasus ponies who later then lost their abilities, and those kinds of ponies don’t use “magic” like the way unicorns do. So it seems that all (or almost all) creatures in Equestria run on magic. The Mane 6 encounter Cerberus, but he’s acts friendly around them as he remembers Fluttershy back from season 2, and they head to Tirek without any trouble. Meanwhile, Cozy Glow enters her office only to find Chancellor Neighsay inside. He wonders where Twilight is, and Cozy tells him that she is away, which pisses him off because Twilight left while Equestria is in a crisis. It seems that he is still as clueless as he was 23 episodes ago. How is he still not aware of Twilight and friends being the saviors of Equestria? I know early seasons had average pony citizens not acknowledging this, but the Mane 6’s status is now more widely known as the students have proven in “School Daze.” He thinks that the foreign creatures, i.e. 5 of the Student 6, are to blame for this despite having no proof. I know he has a blind prejudice toward non-ponies, but it’s still pretty dumb for the same reason I didn’t care much for him back at the beginning of the season. He and Cozy catch the Student 6 eavesdropping on them, and Neighsay doesn’t hesistate to bind them with magical chains. I thought unicorn magic was supposed to have stopped working. Potions are said to no longer work, but on the other hand, the magical key to Tartarus did work, so magical items apparently run on a different rule than casted magic. He may have used his medallion, but the medallion then connected to his horn, which consequently created the magical chains. Am I missing something? He throws the students into a dorm room and is about to leave until the pony of the Student 6 decides that he no longer wants anything to do with his “former” friends, much to their shock. He definitely won’t abandon them because they been together for this entire season (not to mention they’re getting some focus in this episode), and blindly following Neighsay’s beliefs would be such a stupidly shallow reason to ditch them. He needs to get help, but he can’t do that if he’s tied up, and he’s also the only one out of his friends who can actually leave to do so. How odd that Neighsay would blindly accept this pony’s sudden change of heart, but whatever. He probably just wanted to hear the pony say that. The escaped pony goes to Sweet Apple Acres to get Apple Bloom and her friends for help. The Mane 6 encounter Tirek, but he’s not directly responsible for the disappearing magic because he would otherwise be much larger. They demand some answers from him, but he only intends to spill if he is freed. During the conversation, the Mane 6 have discovered that they have no means of escape, which causes Tirek to spill anyways. He reveals that he has been communicating with Cozy Glow and told her how to drain magic from Equestria. Wow, even he’s more knowledgeable about pony magic than Princess Celestia. Then again, Star Swirl himself also has no immediate answer, and Tirek is all about draining magic, so I guess it’s not all bad, not that it helps anything. By the way, how did Tirek and Cozy Glow even communicate? Sure, they could use letters, but who would deliver them to Tartarus? Does Tartarus even have a mail delivery service? Did Cozy Glow just go to Tartarus herself? That can’t be the case as Tirek said that he never met Cozy Glow in person. How would Tirek even send his responses to Cozy Glow? For that matter, how would Cozy Glow even receive the responses? Ah well, even though communicating as pen pals seems impossible given the circumstances, I probably would’ve rolled with it anyways. The Cutie Mark Crusaders plus the escaped pony head down to the catacombs of the school only to find an area with magical artifacts glowing and an incapacitated Starlight being trapped in a sphere containing all of the magic of Equestria. Those artifacts don’t look like they’re from “Shadow Play” as I don’t see a shield or flower, so these new artifacts came up this season. Cozy Glow finally reveals her villainy and that she ultimately wants to send all of Equestria’s magic it to another realm, wherever that might be. This kind of reminds me of “Twilight’s Kingdom” where Celestia said that magic can’t disappear and has to be transferred somewhere, which is what Cozy Glow’s plan is following. I still wonder what happens when a magical blast dissipates after hitting an object to no effect. I guess the object just absorbs the magic and nothing else. Cozy Glow believes that friendship is power (and not magic) and wants all that power for herself to become the ruler of Equestria. I can’t say that she’s wrong since friendship (more specifically, a specific kind of friendship) has powered the Elements of Harmony, but those elements only work under genuine friendship (excluding that time that Celestia operated them by herself, but whatever). And friendship only becomes “magic/power” with magical artifacts. I don’t know where or how she will get any actual raw power to rule Equestria (I mean, she can’t move the sun or moon, and she can’t facilitate Equestria’s natural processes, so she better be prepared to rule a dead Equestria) or even give herself an edge against her opposers, so Cozy Glow’s plans doesn’t make a lot of sense. Part 2. Now that the Mane 6 have learned about Cozy Glow’s villainy, they try to exit Tartarus and rush back to the school to catch her. However, the ponies have lost their magic, so they have no way to opening the door. Twilight then thinks of using the magic from the creatures in Tartarus to solve this as they only lose theirs after the second day. At least it makes sense for Twilight to think of this since she’s the most proficient in magic out of the group. At the catacombs, the CMC try to rescue Starlight, but they encounter some trouble after Sweetie Belle steps into the magical circle containing the artifacts. The magical orb Starlight is trapped in responds by trying to grab Sweetie Belle, but the other ponies manage to pull her out in time. This must be how Cozy trapped Starlight, but I wonder how she convinced Starlight to step in that area from the start. I’m guessing other season 8 episodes gave some answers, and you should know how I feel about that. Or since Cozy Glow seems so trusting, Starlight could have followed along. Sweetie Belle notes that they aren’t able to contact anyone else for help, not even Princess Celestia. I mean, how could that alicorn possibly help? If she were here, she would walk into the circle (which wouldn’t be bad by itself, but that wouldn’t be enough for the show), and the CMC would fail to save her. Then, they’ll panic because an alicorn princess got captured even though the captured alicorn princess is worth less than nothing. On a sidenote, I don’t know if I just didn’t hear the CMC’s voices for so long, but they sound very noticeably older now especially when compared to their earlier appearances. Obviously, their voice actresses have grown up and have gotten deeper over the years. And Jesus Christ, roughly 8 years as of this episode getting recorded. That’s a fair percentage of their lives from their perspectives. It shouldn’t be a surprise to hear this, but the differences are still quite astounding. Special mention goes to Sweetie Belle, whose voice is definitely the one that changed the most. She sounds nothing like her earlier voices. In the dorm room with Student 6 sans the pony, the griffon tries to escape by through the door, but no go as it’s locked. Have they tried breaking down the door or the window? And why are they no longer chained up? Did Neighsay’s chain spell wear off? I guess it could since the magic in Equestria is getting weaker, but I don’t know how he conjured up the chains at all since it was after all ponies were supposed to have lost their magic. They are also uncertain about their pony friend’s allegiance due to his sudden betrayal, but the hippogriff wants to think that he only left to find some answers. She should get a prize. Or should she? She wasn’t certain about her answer, after all. And the pony shows up right afterward to prove her right. He was also holding a crowbar, so opening the window definitely was an option, even if it was locked. Like I said, they could’ve tried to break something. The remaining students learn of Cozy Glow’s treachery, and they all decide to inform Neighsay as they currently have no better options to take. It's the morning of the third day, so no more magic from all creatures. Neighsay addresses the students by saying that (he thinks) the school is safe, which really isn’t that reassuring as he doesn’t seem to have any answers or plans about the disappearing magic and what he plans to do if the situation isn’t solved. He also announces that he intends to have the school run under EEA methods. Princess Celestia did say that the EEA overlooks all schools in Equestria, so I guess he would want to claim the one that already isn’t under the EEA for the sake of completion, but I didn’t know he was this desperate. I would think that he had better things to do after failing to approve the School of Friendship, but I guess not. On the other hand, Neighsay did come into the school so he could protect it from foreign creatures. I don’t know how he actually plans enforce that idea if there was a genuine threat, but whatever. And he wouldn’t know any other way of running a school, so I guess he might as well. This gives Cozy Glow an opportunity to convince the students to rally up against him. She reminds everyone including him that Twilight (and possibly her friends) is/are well-loved and that he also tried to take down the school at the beginning of the season, and Neighsay then realizes how screwed he is. I also want to point out that Cozy Glow mentioned Twilight getting approval from Princess Celestia and Luna. Did Princess Luna actually do anything with or at the school in this season? Actually, I could also ask the same for Celestia. She did show up in “School Daze,” but she didn’t do anything with or at the school. And considering how worthless the sisters are (or at least Celestia is), does their approval actually help? Good thing Twilight is pretty well-loved because she and her friends (presumably) put love and care into running the school, which makes the students happy, and that makes the Mane 6 happy, etc. Too bad such a compliment can’t apply to the alicorn sisters, or at least Princess Celestia. Sure, there were pony citizens who admired her, but she hasn’t shown how or why she earned such admiration. Anyways, Cozy manages to regain control while the students chain Neighsay to a chair in Twilight’s office. After the students leave, Cozy unveils her villainy and some of her plans to Neighsay, and then she leaves only to meet the Cutie Mark Crusaders outside. The CMC distract Cozy Glow while the Student 6 free Neighsay and also tell him that Cozy Glow is responsible for the disappearing magic (something Cozy didn’t tell Neighsay earlier). Neighsay wants to notify the alicorn sisters about this, but that would be a stupid move on his part, not that I’m blaming him for wanting to try. From his (and other characters’ perspective), the sisters are important and “powerful” figures. It’s just a shame that the show prefers to feed them shit during episodes like this. Moving on, Neighsay may not be able to use his own magic to contact the sisters, but he can use his medallion to visit them, and he does just that. Right before leaving, he also points out that it was able to chain the students earlier, so the medallion and other magical artifacts (remember that the artifacts draining magic from Equestria also need magic to do their things) work differently from potions and pony magic for some reason. Back at Tartarus, Tirek gloats about attaining a victory over the Mane 6 because they will be stuck in Tartarus with no way to escape. However, Twilight points out that since he’s also in Tartarus, he will be will be stuck with them, i.e. his mortal enemies. Too bad Celestia and Luna don’t have any mortal enemies. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not endorsing the idea of having mortal enemies because real life is an ass hole, or at least a much bigger one than fiction. But since this is fiction, having a mortal enemy (or even just a regular enemy) means that some antagonistic character “cares” about a certain character. That last sentence sounds awkward especially if you read it aloud, but hopefully I got my point across. For example, Tirek hates the Mane 6 more than he does the non-Twilight alicorns, so that means he doesn’t think much of those other alicorns. Of course, that doesn’t mean that he would be indifferent about being trapped with the non-Twilight alicorns, but which scenario is more meaningful? Tirek getting trapped with the Mane 6 or Tirek getting trapped with Celestia, Luna, and Cadance? What actual reason would he have to hate the latter’s guts? Those 3 alicorns wouldn’t be happy to live with him as he’s power-hungry and evil, but the Mane 6 would also have that same reason to not want to live with him. Looking from Tirek’s perspective, what reason would he have to hate Celestia, Luna, and Cadance outside of them being ponies he failed to steal magic from? He doesn’t know anything about them, and he barely interacted with them. Scratch that, he interacted only with Celestia in “Twilight’s Kingdom” and didn’t look at the other 2 alicorns. And even during that moment, all Tirek encountered was 3 powerless and helpless alicorns. None of the major villains in the show have much of a reason to give a fuck about any of the non-Twilight alicorns. Nightmare Moon is sorely underused, and Celestia’s and Luna’s relationship is nonexistent in the show. Discord is one of the good guys now, but if he weren’t, what reason would he have to be concerned with ponies who aren’t the Mane 6? Only the Elements of Harmony (and thus the Mane 6) can harm him. Everyone else is fuck all to him. Chrysalis only wants to get revenge against Starlight or the Mane 6. And what reason would she have to give a fuck about Celestia, the only non-Twilight alicorn she conversed with that she also barely knows? Cadance and Shining Armor did take care of the Changelings, but it doesn’t look like she even cares. Sombra could see Cadance and Shining Armor as enemies since the latter two run the Crystal Empire. I read that he takes Flurry Heart as hostage at the beginning of season 9, but I don’t know what else he does in the episode or if he even interacts with Cadance of Shining Armor. Celestia and Luna did beat him 1000 years prior, but did he ever do anything with them on-screen? Starlight would be the next major villain, but she’s also a good guy now. Even if she actually gave a shit about the other alicorns before meeting the Mane 6, those other alicorns would be inactive because they’re not the main characters of the show. If she did incapacitate them, that would just further downgrade their images. Right now, she only respects the other alicorns because she’s supposed to. No real reason is given. The the Pony of Shadows and Stygian haven’t interacted with the other alicorns. Finally, there’s Cozy Glow, who (sort of) knows that friendship is the most powerful magic in Equestria, so she also doesn’t have a reason to think much of those other alicorns. And it’s not like she does in this episode. Remember that she didn’t bother sending the other alicorns away on a wild goose chase. Good God, how they have sunk below rock bottom. Even a FUCKING FILLY (i.e. a child) doesn’t see them as threats. If it isn’t obvious, Celestia, Luna, and Cadance have not proven their worth to the villains of the show outside of a very few instances, and those only apply to Cadance. Like I keep saying, since those 3 alicorns, especially the sisters, do nothing against the villains (again, except for a few instances with Cadance), there isn’t much if any meaning if a villain hates one of them. At the very least in the case of Princess Celestia, I’d say she hasn’t proven that she has any kind of worth. Back to the actual episode. Twilight devises a plan to escape from Tartarus while her friends help that plan move forward. At least the episode isn’t making the other main characters inconsequential like in a number of other 2-parters. Well, except for Spike. I can’t think of anything significant he has contributed so far. Tirek even decides to pitch in because he doesn’t want Pinkie annoying the fuck out of him. Pinkie even claims that she can annoy him forever, so I guess she doesn’t need to eat or sleep. Hooray for the Mane 6, I guess. They were able to break out of a mystical prison without magic and with their own wits (or at least Twilight’s wits) and abilities. Too bad I can’t imagine the non-Twilight alicorns figuring out a way to escape from Tartarus if they were in the Mane 6’s position. The writers would make them encounter an obstacle they can’t overcome and would then have to wait for the Mane 6 to come up with a plan to save them and Equestria. So, even though the intention was to show the Mane 6 being resourceful and capable even without magic, the Mane 6 still don’t end up looking that impressive to me. At the school, the CMC are still with Cozy Glow. Cozy Glow manages to trick the 3 into a cleaning closet, and that’s that for the CMC in the episode. I was hoping they could do a little more now that they’re slightly older (complete with cutie marks) and this 2-parter being their first one to participate in, so it’s too bad they were tricked so easily, but at the same time, I don’t care that much even though I feel like I should. At least they contributed more than Celestia and Luna ever did inside and outside of this episode. There’s also an amusing moment in the background with a random school pony looking freaked out and then backing away after seeing Cozy Glow talk back to the closet door. Next scene, the Student 6 go back to the catacombs to free Starlight. They now figure out that the artifacts are absorbing the magic from all over Equestria and gathering it into the orb that Starlight is currently trapped in. From the way the characters are talking, this sounds like a reference to another episode that I won’t watch. I find it interesting that the artifacts took Starlight herself and not just her magic, so I guess a magical being stepping into that magical circle of artifacts is different from some distant object or person containing magic since there isn’t much of a difference between taking magic from something 2 feet away and that same thing 2000 miles away other than proximity. Removing an artifact from its position will release all of the magic, but that turns out not to be a good idea as all the magic will be released too quickly and create an explosion in the meantime. Not a bad additional hurdle to put up so the problem wouldn’t solved so easily, but I honestly wouldn’t mind seeing the School of Friendship getting blown up. Too bad Cozy Glow and the other students (under misdirection) of the school emerge into the catacombs to stop the Student 6. How many characters before this episode were familiar with the area? Was it meant to be a secret at all? Like I said, this wasn’t featured in “School Daze,” but that could instead be due to time constraints. Meanwhile, the creatures at Tartarus plus Tirek have given their magic to Twilight so she could cast a spell to open the gates. She’s successful, and the Mane 6 plus Spike all escape. However, they seem to be too late as the sun has now set on the third day. That’s a tad weird as it seemed to be the second day when Twilight first thought of obtaining magic from the creatures in Tartarus, and they don’t lose their magic until the end of the second day. I wonder if misinterpreted the pacing. Another guess I have is that the creatures relinquished their internal magic because those creatures split into separate animals after giving it to Twilight, and the internal magic is what makes them not quite regular animals. Cerberus split into 3 regular dogs, the cockatrice split into a chicken and a snake, and the manticore split into a lion and a scorpion to name a few examples. So even though the ponies and other creatures lost their magic, the lost magic didn’t include their internal magic. When the ponies completely lost their magic in “Twilight’s Kingdom” (meaning their internal magic as well), their eyes turned into a dull color (except the alicorns sans Twilight, and I could go on a tangent why that happened, but I won’t), and that didn’t happen here even though they already lost their magic after the first day. Back to the school again, Cozy Glow has tricked the other students into thinking that the Student 6 (especially the foreign students) are trying to destroy the school and eliminate magic from Equestria. Starlight gets another amusing moment with her facial expression when the Student 6 are blamed for trapping her. The other students rush at the Student 6, and a struggle ensues. The griffon crashes and falls into the magical orb with Starlight, and his friends try to rescue him only to also get trapped. A vortex opens up beneath the big magical orb to transport it to who-knows-where. A few of the pony students wonder if the Student 6 should be rescued because they displayed some friendship, and not rescuing them would also go against what they learned. The Elements of Harmony are even mentioned as aspects of friendship that were taught. There’s definitely more to friendship than just those 6 elements, but they’re also not bad starting points. Cozy Glow tries to leave the trapped characters to their fates, and the pony students follow along. I thought a few of them would go against her commands, but conformity proved to be too powerful. I also thought that at least another few would want to at least rescue Starlight. While the ponies try to leave, the area lights up (how come in fiction, no one ever notices these kinds of glows?), and it seems that the Tree of Harmony (not all of the magic from Equestria has disappeared just yet, it seems) has saved the Student 6 by pulling them out of that magical orb. Too bad it left Starlight out. Who knew the Tree of Harmony was such an ass hole? It only chose to save a specific group of people while leaving another good pony (even if her redemption was sloppy) for dead. The Student 6 are glowing with magic as they are now the successors for wielding the Elements of Harmony. Or maybe they’re just another set of characters who can wield the Elements. The Pillars were able to use their version of the Elements back at the end of season 7 despite being gone for so long. Anyways, the Student 6 are freed and each pull an artifact away from the magical circle, and now all of the magic that has been trapped is now released into Equestria and its inhabitants. I guess the risk of an explosion was false, but they were admittedly uncertain of the outcome at first. Then again, all of the artifacts were pulled away instead of one, but I doubt those 2 scenarios are that different. Whatever, I’ll go with my first guess. The magic has returned to the inhabitants of Equestria including the folks at Tartarus. The animals have become “mythological” creatures again, and the Mane 6 as well as the royals regain their magic and immediately head to the school. Celestia and Luna may have gathered up their guards to try and take on Cozy Glow, but it’s still worth nothing that the two have done nothing. Remember that the last time we saw them was at the beginning of part 1 giving exposition. Twilight teleports herself and her friends to the school to confront Cozy Glow about her motivations, and Cozy Glow thought that being headmare means that she could have more friends and thus more power. I don’t know how many of the students at the school are actually Twilight’s friends. On the surface, they’d just have a professional relationship instead of a platonic one. And like I said earlier, friendship generally needs some kind of magic or artifact to actually be powerful, otherwise it’s just plain old friendship. It’s also worth pointing out that the other friendships in Equestria have not amounted to anything. More on that later. Cozy Glow is finally caught and captured, and things are back to normal with the School of Friendship. Neighsay admits that Twilight Sparkle is the best pony to run the school and that friendship should only be for ponies. It’s not like he ever understood what the point of the school was or got insight into his beliefs, so his compliment is pretty hollow. The Student 6 try to practice for graduation because they think that saving Equestria means that they’re done with school, but that’s obviously not the case. It’s not like one would ever finish learning about friendship as all friendships are different and also change over time, so everyone will experience new and different things all the time. This seems more like a throwback to Starlight’s victory at the end of season 6 and Twilight at the beginning of season 7 thinking that Starlight was ready to graduate from her studies, only for Starlight to admit that she wasn’t ready just yet. Oh, and the CMC finally bust out of the closet. Too bad they missed all the action. Finally, the episode ends with Princess Luna putting a caged Cozy Glow next to a caged Tirek. I wonder if the she or Celestia was ever told about those two working together because putting their cages together like that is a stupid move. Then again, these are two stupid alicorns who don’t know how to handle villains, and it wouldn’t be above the show to exclude the alicorn sisters from learning useful information. For example, they never learned about the Mane 6’s first experience with Starlight. The episode ends with Cozy Glow getting acquainted with Tirek, and the beginning of season 9 shows them teaming up with other villains, so these 2 did end up getting acquainted. The show is willing to immediately follow up with a recent pairing of 2 villains (and maybe for more episodes in season 9), but it didn’t bother showcasing the alicorn sisters for an entire episode until 7 seasons in, and even that episode had to be shared with another pony. *sigh* I think my overall feelings about the episode are obvious, but I’ll state them in case they aren’t. I was indifferent about almost everything, and you can see this over the ramble as I often went on a tangent about Princess Celestia (and sometimes Luna) being powerless or helpless at other points in the show as well as this episode. It should also be obvious that I don’t care about the Student 6 as I didn’t differentiate them outside of their species. They displayed their basic personalities, but I still didn’t care to take note of them. Notice that I didn’t even bother to name them over the recap. I could easily find out their names through the MLP wiki, and I do know some of their names, but using their names wouldn’t show my indifference well enough. A lot of the reasons I don’t care for this episode have already been stated in “School Daze”: the show had better things to do, but now it’s too late for them because of new gimmicks that have been introduced. Season 8 needed to follow through with its gimmicks so they don’t become pointless and/or meaningless. Too bad they didn’t bother following through with Celestia or Luna in the early seasons, Cadance after season 2, or Twilight’s position as an alicorn princess, all of which initially came with their share of mysteries. Since this show has some continuity, pretty much everything that has occurred up to this point was built on what came before, and I don’t like what has come before. Granted, major turns have mostly happened at the beginning or end of a season, but the show gives those points of the season the most weight. It doesn’t help that more of my interest lies in those bigger episodes, and those episodes generally being unimpressive or worse for whatever reason doesn’t help. In a way, I’m commenting more on “what should’ve been” instead of “what is,” but I still don’t like the “what is.” I mentioned 2 things that I wanted to talk about later, and I’ll talk about them now. The first is wasted potential, particularly with Princess Celestia, and this is a point I’m not very subtle about. And much of my complaints could also apply to Princess Luna. They were around since the beginning of the show (well, Luna didn’t appear for almost all of season 1 for some reason, but whatever), and they haven’t shown much worth. At least Luna is a little better in this regard as she got 2 of her own episodes, but I can’t say that I like either of them. Celestia finally 1 episode in season 8. Y’know, the second last season of the show. There were so many opportunities to show off their capabilities in previous seasons, but that never happened despite the show often making a big deal about both of them. Interestingly, it didn’t really happen in this episode, and they only act as authority figures. However, a portal was shown when Luna transported Cozy Glow to Tartarus, so there’s a small implication that Luna created the portal. She was with 2 other royal guards, but those guards were pegasus ponies, and those kinds of ponies can’t conjure up magical spells, so that only leaves Princess Luna. And I doubt creating portals is a common unicorn ability because if that were so easy, we should have seen that kind of ability more often in the show. Essentially, we have 2 allegedly special alicorn princesses, but we’re not shown how or why they’re special. Sure, they move the sun and moon, but any royal who isn’t irresponsible and can move the sun or moon doesn’t have any immediate distinctions on the surface from Celestia or Luna, so what do Celestia and Luna themselves do for Equestria? At least Luna has her dream-walking. Too bad Celestia doesn’t have another distinctive ability. Moving on, dream-walking is certainly a unique ability because we’d otherwise see other ponies doing this. So, why is Princess Luna so useless in 2-part episodes such as this one? She and Celestia are set aside for other characters to take the stage, but the sisters aren’t given anything else to do. On the flip side, the Mane 6 are sent on a wild goose chase to Tartarus because Cozy Glow knew they’d interfere with her plans, but we also have to see them escape as they’re definitely not being exiled from the show, and we do get to see them escape with some planning and their own abilities. Twilight may have come up with the plan, but she couldn’t do everything by herself, so her friends used their skills to assist with the escape. See, at least the Mane 6 were able to participate in this episode. Why are Princess Celestia and Luna (and Cadance possibly to a smaller degree) not allowed to do something else on the side? Even though the Mane 6’s actions didn’t directly contribute to Cozy Glow getting captured, at least they didn’t sit on their asses waiting for someone else to do their jobs. I can’t help but wonder if the alicorn sisters are actually pretty weak in the creators’ minds. That idea clashes with a comment Trixie made at the end of season 6, but bear with me for a moment. Anyways, if they were so weak, why go through the trouble of excluding them if they didn’t have the power to solve the problem so easily? It has been clear for too long that the show has completely mishandled the non-Twilight alicorns, especially the sisters. This flaw sucks even more now because with all of the new characters being introduced, the new characters need spotlight, and this just pushes away other characters that desperately needed attention. And since Celestia and Luna have been so inactive, making them active would be almost nonsensical. Their uselessness is so deeply ingrained into them that removing that aspect of their characters would change them completely. That wasn’t the impression the show wanted to make, but that’s what ended up happening. The second thing I wanted to talk about was the other friendships in Equestria not amounting to anything. It’s arguably a smaller point, but I still feel like talking about it. This relates to my least favorite episode in the show, which is the 2-part “The Cutie Re-Mark.” That episode had Twilight saying that all friendships in Equestria being important as the friendship lost between Starlight and Sunburst only led to Equestria’s death. Remember that all Starlight ever did was prevent the Mane 6 from meeting, so all of those alternate scenarios resulted because the Mane 6 never became friends, and that hardly supports the idea of all friendships being important. For one thing, there wouldn’t be anything stopping other ponies from being friends with each other in those alternate timelines, but their friendships ultimately couldn’t save Equestria. I mean, if another group of friends couldn’t use the Elements of Harmony, what does that say? If other ponies somehow couldn’t be friends with each other just because the Mane 6 never got together, then that already puts the Mane 6’s friendship above all others. Essentially, both of those scenarios ironically placed more importance on the Mane 6’s friendships instead of proving that all friendships were important. I don’t know if using the Student 6’s friendship was an attempt to correct this, but it still doesn’t fix anything. All we have now is 2 VERY SPECIFIC groups of friends who could possibly keep Equestria from dying. Maybe 3 if you want to count the pillars from the end of season 7. Suddenly, an episode I might have enjoyed if it came much earlier seems far less appealing, but that’s beside the point. Anyways, you only have 2 or 3 VERY SPECIFIC groups of friends who can stop Equestria from dying. Does that sound good for the well-being of Equestria at all? Suddenly, weaponizing friendship as literal magic turned out to be a bad idea since not just any kind of friends can wield the Elements of Harmony, and that as a result doesn’t show the power of friendship. There doesn’t seem to be much else to talk about. I guess I could give some comments on Cozy Glow. However, I don’t care for the episode, so there isn’t much reason for me to care about her character or plans. At least I can say that hiding her deception by being genuinely helpful was a good move so she could avoid suspicion. She was able to send the Mane 6 away by making them think that Tirek was responsible so she could go on uninterrupted. And she was easily able to take the school from Neighsay by reminding the students of what he tried in “School Daze.” There are shades of a competent villain, but as I’ve said before, her plan doesn’t make that much sense. She wants to take over Equestria by making a ton of friends, which she thinks will give her power. Too bad she didn’t realize that simply being friends with someone can’t actually give her power. Has she noticed other kinds of friends in Equestria? Did she see them wielding so much power? Too bad she didn’t pay attention. And even if it’s metaphorical power by being a ruler instead of literal magical power (not that she could use any because she’s a pegasus pony and because all of the magic in Equestria needed to be gone for her plan to work), she could easily lose her position since she can’t enforce it. If a pony rebels against her, what is she going to do about it? She’d have to be a genuinely good ruler if she doesn’t want any opposition she can’t handle (and this isn’t getting into the fact that she has no “special” powers or any loyal followers), so that hidden villainy will have to be wiped, and an important part of her character will need to change for better or worse. And I also doubt there would be a law that allowed a filly to be a ruler of Equestria, so that’s another shot against her plans. There are shades of her being a competent villain, but too many aspects of her ideas and plans (and other issues such as Princess Celestia and Luna somehow being powerless against a FILLY) prevent me from thinking better of her. By the way, does she have any parents? I would comment on Neighsay, but I can’t think of much to say about him outside of what I’ve already said. He tried to run the School of Friendship for himself, but his reign was short-lived. And he changes his opinion of the school and Twilight because that’s what he’s supposed to do. I can’t say that he has that much of a character arc mainly because he doesn’t appear all that much in this episode. I could acknowledge the irony of his fear. He thought teaching friendship to foreign students would encourage them to use it against Equestria, but it was actually a pony who caused all this trouble, and the foreign students are the ones who use what they learned at school to save Equestria. So it didn’t play out like the way I thought it would have, which is one pony using the trust of another to backstab them. Bring on season 9, I guess. From the looks of things, I’ll have more episodes to see than just the season opener and finale.
  9. Number95

    Season 9, Episode 5: The Point of No Return

    @Metemponychosis@WaterPulse Apparently, the "Best Gift Ever" special is counted as an episode in terms of production. So this episode would've been the 200th episode of the show instead of "Sparkle's Seven". How well do you think this episode would've worked as the 200th? Then again, this question might be pointless because if "Best Gift Ever" wasn't counted as an episode, this episode could just be produced and/or aired before "Sparkle's Seven".
  10. Number95

    Season 9, Episode 4: Twilight’s Seven

    @Metemponychosis@WaterPulse Would you say that this episode might be worth a look, or would I be wasting my time?
  11. Number95

    Another MLP:FIM review thread

    OK, if I do ignore the fuck ups that they already made with Princess Celestia, you are right about her being more than a school principal's in terms of scope of her role. I imagine that they made Celestia a principal in EQG because she would still be a head figure that was also easy to keep close. It's too bad that even though they "reduced" Celestia to a principal, they still don't know what to do with her.
  12. Number95

    Another MLP:FIM review thread

    That's MLP:FiM for me. A concept sounds interesting, but what's actually given isn't. When it comes to almost anything, it exists to make money. I think that's actually more reasonable than it seems. People like money, but they also need money to buy and make more things. And just because something is made with the intention of a profit, that doesn't mean quality must be thrown out. I think you already know what I'll say. At least, I hope the creative team for this show does the same. It has been a while since I've watched the movies (I've only seen the first 3), but I know that in terms of trying to do something with the same scope as the 2-part episodes, they're more of the same despite having more time. The Celestia and Luna in the EQG universe are as worthless as their pony counterparts, the main characters who aren't Twilight or Sunset still do nothing, and the villains (sans Principal Cinch, who I thought was a serviceable antagonist) are lame and still participate in unexciting final showdowns. Personally, I would actually accept Celestia being a school principal assuming she wouldn't be inactive, but you know how that turned out. As for being "reduced to a school principal," it's not like she was ever worth something in Equestria. As for the princesses' retirement, I'm sure their intention was to show that the Mane 6 earned this position, but given how much the princesses not named Twilight suck anyways, it just looks like the princesses are giving up positions that don't fit them. The episodes will also try to say that the Mane 6 have a lot to live up to as well as major responsibilities, which just means they'll definitely be more beneficial to Equestria than Celestia and Luna ever were. I mean, they are already better for Equestria than Celestia and Luna. The show would also like to say that the alicorn sisters are tall figures but have limitations, so more ordinary ponies can actually be better than those tall figures in some respects. Except the show never proved that those sisters' effectiveness. At least Luna helps ponies in their dreams, so that's something even though it still amounts to nothing. And I bet they can't even name one thing that Celestia is better than Twilight at.
  13. Number95

    Another MLP:FIM review thread

    I feel that it could even be insulting to Sunset fans, or at least fans who wanted to see her return to Princess Celestia. What could the writers actually do in one minute? There definitely wouldn't be time for catching up or even a heart-to-heart, and the transcript reflects that as all the two do together is acknowledge some change in each other. As if that's somehow enough to justify a scene of their reunion. Sunset even claimed that Celestia grew a sense of humor, but that ended up being a throwaway line as the show has done little to nothing productive with the latter. And Sunset definitely won't stick around in Equestria as that would mean the end of Equestria Girls since she's also its main character. What would that problem be? And you're right about Princess Celestia if the transcript is anything to go by. Outside of acknowledging Sunset having changed, she also forgives Sunset, and that's it. They brought in Celestia just to do the bare minimum, and as @WaterPulse said, all in one minute. Princess Celestia wasn't even needed then. If Sunset did go back to Equestria for whatever reason, even temporarily, there would be something of an obligation for the storytellers to acknowledge her history with Celestia. But they might as well have let Sunset (consciously or not) decide to avoid her if one minute was all they were getting together.
  14. Number95

    Another MLP:FIM review thread

    @WaterPulse @Metemponychosis Sounds like the special is worse than a waste of time. It would've been fine if they just wanted to use Celestia for later, but given the nature of this incarnation of MLP, it is definitely more like they finally remembered that Princess Celestia was relevant in Sunset's life. There's no way they can actually make productive use of one minute of screentiime for a character like Princess Celestia, but I'm not surprised at her lack of screentime anyways. I just checked the transcript on the MLP wiki, and of course, Celestia doesn't know the answer to the problem. What else would they have her do, especially in just under one fucking minute? Also, I thought the special was only 44 minutes long. Were there other specials that tied very directly into "Forgotten Friendship"? EDIT: @WaterPulse What did you personally think of the special, anyways?
  15. Number95

    Another MLP:FIM review thread

    @Metemponychosis @WaterPulse Is the "Forgotten Friendship" special worth looking at, or is it worse than a waste of time?